Galactus Hungers

hunger1As a side effect of saving the day in Age of Ultron, Wolverine apparently broke space and time. Yep, you read that right. One of the things this causes is dimensional rifts opening up, making passage to parallel universes possible. The ramifications are huge, and many, but there’s one that we’ll be focusing on as Hunger #1 hits the comic shop shelves. This week, Galactus comes to the Ultimate Universe, and he’s hungry! Get your appetizers, after the jump!

The Legend of Galactus

Doctor Doom perhaps has the title as Marvel Comics’ greatest super-villain, but as far as sheer power, legendary status, and an evil force of nature that is only spoken of in whispers… there’s Galactus. When Galactus shows up, you know it’s going to be bad, chiefly because he only wants one thing. It’s not money, or power, nothing like that – he just wants to eat the planet. Yeah, it’s like that.

Galactus instills fear with just his existence. He looks on most of the human race as fleas. Face it, if you’re not Reed Richards or Thor, he is probably not even going to acknowledge you. My first encounter with the character was on reruns of the 1967 “Fantastic Four” cartoon. My memories, as well as those of my little friends, was that Galactus could not be stopped. He was the ultimate super-villain. He might be tricked, he might be delayed, but he could not be stopped.

Tales from the Justice League Casebook

But. The big but is that we all know Galactus can be stopped. Nobody is going to let the Big G eat the planet. The good guys always win, and the earth is always saved. Unless. Unless it’s not our Earth. Over at DC Comics, there was a multiverse, a handful, soon to be a plethora, of parallel Earths – chief among them was Earth-Two, home of the Justice Society.

hunger3When I was a wee little one, I read about the Justice League’s first epic battle against the villain called Starbreaker. He was by far at the time the most powerful opponent the team had ever faced. He had already defeated the JLA twice by the time they regrouped and beat him. It was a brutal three-issue adventure, and the planet was at stake, but really, in the back of my mind, I knew the JLA would win. Because, like Galactus over at Marvel, there was no way that DC’s Starbreaker would destroy the planet.

A couple months later, the Justice Society summoned the JLA to Earth-Two, where a villain called the Iron Hand threatened to crush the planet with a giant energy hand unless the two teams could find a way to defeat him. A thought occurred to my eight year old mind. This wasn’t our Earth. If the heroes didn’t stop Iron Hand… the world might very well perish… There was no safety net, there was no surety of victory. Talk about scaring children.

And now we come full circle. Thanks to space and time being broken, Galactus isn’t attacking our Earth in Hunger, he is setting his sights on the Ultimate Universe. Anything goes, this could be very very bad…

hunger4Ultimate Rick Jones

I love me some Rick Jones. As a matter of fact, I wanted to be Rick Jones when I was a kid. He was the luckiest guy in the Marvel Universe. He was Captain America’s sidekick, the Hulk’s buddy, and an honorary Avenger. Does it get any better than that? Yep, later on he gains the ability to summon Captain Marvel at will. Damn, I still want to be Rick Jones.

In the Ultimate Universe, as we see in Hunger #1 written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and drawn by Leonard Kirk, Rick Jones is something else. I have to admit, since Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch left Ultimates, I haven’t paid all that much attention to what was going on the Ultimate Universe. I know Magneto wiped out quite a few heroes, that Captain America was President for a while, and that Ultimate Spidey Miles Morales was visited by the real Spider-Man for a bit last year. Beyond that, I’m clueless.

Ultimate Rick Jones is an equally clueless teenager who has been kidnapped by the Watchers to become the protector of the universe, even if all he wants is some Burger Shack. Fialkov’s humor mixes well with the gravity of the situation and he presents a Rick Jones not unlike a Silver Age Peter Parker. I like it. He is our point of view character as two opposing forces in the Kree-Chitauri War are witless to the coming of Galactus.

hunger5Let’s Eat!

It should be noted that first the Kree and the Chitauri are confronted by the hive-like cloud entity called Gah Lak Tus, what basically passes for Galactus in the Ultimate Universe. When the real Big G shows up, the nano cloud horde merges with him, creating a super-Galactus, as beautifully designed and rendered by Leonard Kirk. Cue funeral music, we are totally screwed.

As I said earlier, I had no real investment in the Ultimate Universe, and now, I fear for it. This is like the Iron Hand on Earth-Two, this could very well be the end of the world. On the one hand, we might get to see Galactus finally eat the Earth, on the other, everybody is gonna die. The stakes are high, and I can’t wait for the next issue. Galactus hungers…

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